This is a long term review of the 2008 Can Am Outlander Max 650 XT. I think they made the title long enough.
Bottom line: It's an excellent machine, well worth the money, very reliable and fun, very, very few headaches.
Keep in mind that this is a 99% stock machine. The only mods (if you can even call them mods) are a replacement air filter and new tires to replace the worn stock tires.
Kept in stock trim, this machine is like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going and going.
Power: Everyone wants to know about the power. It has plenty.
Sure there are a gob of after market power adders but in my opinion just keep the engine stock. Keep the transmission stock. Keep the ride height stock.
Notice a trend? It'll last longer.
I can hit 70 m.p.h. which is ludicrous for an ATV. It'll scare the crap out of you. Sure your buddies' 800 or 1000 will slightly out accelerate it but on the trail you'll both get from A to B in the same time.
Tires and suspension: The suspension is adequate for what it was designed for. It's well tuned for trail riding and provides all day comfort.
The tires aren't bad but there are better out there. Mine lasted about 3,500 miles before they were bald. The new tires are significantly better and reduced steering effort significantly.
Reliability: It's outstanding. The only issue I've had is overheating due to a mud clogged radiator - operator induced. A good cleaning now and then completely prevents this.
I have a small weeping oil leak that doesn't even register on the dipstick after a year of abuse. Not a concern in my book.
Maintenance: This is the cause of the 4-star reliability rating. The stock brakes are bad, too.
Fluid changes aren't easy. They're not difficult per se but plan on wasting away a Saturday taking plastic off, you-tubing how to videos, etc.
Once you've done it a couple times it's not too bad but it's not a 15-minute job. The joke of a cartridge filter is annoying.
The diffs require fluid changes annually. The strategically hidden fuel filter is clamped with crimp on Adamantium bands that a cutting torch can't cut. Stock brake pads are completely worn out after 1,500 miles of casual use.
I get 20-25 miles per gallon and other than a few nit noid issues, fixed with very low cost upgrades, it's been as reliable as an anvil.
Known issues: Lifted machines will go through CV joints like candy. Modified engines will burn up belts and break differentials.
If you see dedicated mud tires, a snorkel kit, or a relocated radiator run - period. It's been abused.
Overheating is easily fixed by taking the front end apart and using scrubbing bubbles on the radiator (what you clean your bath tub with - thank you Mr. Clean) once a year or as needed.
If you have a cat it will sleep on the back seat.
Upgrades/Accessories: Kenda Bear Claw HTR radials, UNI air filter, cheap automotive fuel filter and EBC brake pads.
Reviews are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty and should be considered entertainment only. Reviews should not be used for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to, making decisions about any referenced vehicles, products, modifications or other information.
ATV Disclaimer & Safety Information
Riding an ATV can be dangerous. To ensure your safety proper protective gear should always be worn. Remember to always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. Never carry passengers unless the ATV is specifically engineered to accommodate them. Riding at excessive speeds or engaging in stunt riding is extremely dangerous. Be extremely careful on difficult or unknown terrain. Never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Many ATVís are recommended only for highly experienced riders 16 years and older. Please make sure that you are riding an ATV that is age appropriate. Riders younger than 16 years of age should always be supervised by an adult. We recommend that all ATV riders take an approved ATV training course and read their vehicle owner's manual thoroughly. When riding your ATV always stay on established trails in approved areas. Keep your riding areas clean and respect the rights of others. Always obtain permission before riding on private lands, and obey all the laws and regulations governing your riding areas.